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Olivia Mary Manning (March 2, 1908-23 July 1980) was a British novelist, poet, writer and critic. The arguments of his books, fictitious and realistic, revolved around trips and personal odyssey, set mainly in Europe (especially England and Ireland) and the Middle East. He used to write about his own experiences and, sometimes, he also appealed to the imagination. She has been recognized for her artistic eye and for the vivid descriptions in her books.
During his childhood, Manning lived in Portsmouth and Ireland, so he acquired what he would describe as “the usual Anglo-Irish feeling of not belonging anywhere.” He attended an art school and then moved to London , where he published his first novel, The Wind Changes, in 1937. In August 1939 he married Reginald Smith (“Reggie”), a British Council speaker who was later sent to Bucharest (Romania), and later to Greece, Egypt and Palestine as the Nazis invaded eastern Europe, their experiences providing the basis for their most recognized work, the six novels that make up The Balkan Trilogy and The Levant Trilogy, known collectively as Fortunes of War . Critics rated the overall quality of their production as irregular, but Anthony Burgess described this particular series, published between 1960 and 1980, as “the best fictitious written record of the war that was produced by a British writer.” < / p>
Manning returned to London after the war and lived there until his death; for the rest of her life she wrote poems, short stories, non-fiction writings, reviews and plays for the BBC, both Manning and her husband were infidels, but never contemplated the possibility of divorce. complicated with the writers Stevie Smith and Iris Murdoch, since Manning, unsure of herself, was jealous of the success of her friends, her constant complaints about everything that happens are reflected in her nickname, “Olivia Moaning” (“Olivia Complaints »), but Reggie never faltered in his role as the main admirer of his wife, confident that his talent would finally be recognized.As she feared, real fame came after his death (in 1980), when he took to television an adaptation of Fortunes of War, in 1987.
Manning’s books have received little attention from critics. As it happened during his life, opinions are divided, particularly those based on his characterization and description of other cultures. His works tend to minimize gender problems and can not be easily classified as feminist literature. However, recent studies have highlighted the importance of Manning as a writer of war fiction in a declining British Empire. His works criticize war, racism, colonialism and imperialism, and include issues of displacement and physical and emotional alienation.
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